The prevalence of depression has not fallen despite effective treatments being available.
To examine the effectiveness of a psycho-educational intervention designed to be easily accessible.
Large-scale, self-referral ‘How to improve your self-confidence’ workshops were run in a leisure centre at weekends. The day-long programme used a cognitive–behavioural approach. A randomised controlled trial design using waiting-list controls was employed. Three months after the workshop, results of workshop participants were compared with those of the waiting list control group.
Among 120 people who self-referred, 75% of participants had General Health Questionnaire scores of 3 and above. Over 39% had never previously consulted their general practitioners about their depression. At 3-month follow-up, members of the experimental group were significantly less depressed, less distressed and reported higher self-esteem.
Workshops were shown to be accessible and effective; a larger, more rigorous trial is now needed.
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